Author: Dawit Meskel

The Application of Blockchain Technology Beyond the Financial Services Industry

[About the author: Dawit Meskel is an IT architect. He was a student on the City, University of London Writing for Business short course in Oct-Dec 2018, and wrote this blog as part of a homework/in-class exercise on that course.]

Blockchain is a hot topic particularly in financial services as a disruptive technology, but will it fade away in the near future or revolutionise the sector, as seen by many who compare it to the internet age?

Blockchain technology has been around for a while now, nearly ten years, and the technology continues to mature at a phenomenal pace. The disruptive nature of blockchain has been recognised in the financial sector for some time; its first significant application is bitcoin, a crypto-currency that is not issued or backed by a central bank, but rather by consensus among a network of users described as ‘miners’.

Bitcoin was created as a medium of exchange to replace money, but blockchain is also making a substantial impact on other industries as we mature into a new digital age. The uses of the technology are now growing at a faster rate than anyone could imagine. Here are some examples which illustrate the possible use of blockchain technology in different industries:

  • Identity management to securely manage identity for persons and devices;
  • 2nd generation blockchains allow programs called smart contracts to run on the blockchain, enabling automated contractual agreement between persons or devices;
  • Documenting, tracking and verifying the authenticity of goods as they move through the supply chain industry.

These examples are the tip of the iceberg for what this technology is going to achieve in the coming years.